Simon Waterson Q&A
Simon Waterson is a fitness expert (former Royal Marine) that was called up to train some of the most famous actors in Hollywood Blockbuster movies such as Jake Gyllenhaal who played Prince Dastan in Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time. He turned Donnie Darko into the Prince of Persia! Simon has lots of tips for kids who want to get into shape and live a healthy active life.
QUESTION: What’s a good way for kids to get motivated to get in shape?
- SIMON WATERSON: To be honest, a lot of motivation comes from movies and actors. Actors are great ambassadors for kids just because the way they have worked so hard to keep themselves in shape and to be able to perform in such movies such as Jake in Prince of Persia and the characters of Pirates of the Caribbean… all the movies nowadays that demand high levels of fitness. To motivate yourself to get in shape, you can’t beat doing things in groups. I’m from a military background, so all my fitness stems from everything in a group and making it fun and motivating each other and when you see someone else motivated, 9 times out of 10 it will motivate you.
QUESTION: What are your tips for kids to start a program to get in shape?
- SIMON WATERSON: There really is no prescription for a script routine like going to the gym. It’s important just to think actively, like to do a couple of extra laps around the track, to shoot a few more hoops, to throw a football around, to think active and to be active no matter what the activity. Using what you got is a great thing to do so using your own body weight to get a workout… practicing doing some push-ups, a few abdominals, squats, and things like that… you know your own body weight. Don’t think you need the fancy stuff at the gym like pulleys, bars, and benches… there’s no need to get into all that at a very young age.
QUESTION: For children that are overweight and out of shape, how can they get started?
- SIMON WATERSON: It’s very important for anyone to start very slow and not setting your goals too high. A lot of kids think, “OK I’m going to do an hour… I’m going to run for an hour!” There is no need. Just set your goals really low and achieve them because the sense to be able to achieve something is the most important thing. The best thing to do is to try and write your results down. Have a chart in your room. Tick off the days and what you did. And then at the end of the month, look at what you did… look at what you’ve achieved and give yourself a big pat on the back for your accomplishments. Reward yourself with something!
QUESTION: What’s your advice to children that want to improve their skills and performance?
- SIMON WATERSON: To be able to do something really, really well… say for instance an exercise that everyone knows in the gym “the bench press” . Now there are going to be people that look bigger and stronger, but 9 times out of 10 those people are not necessarily doing things correctly. It’s always a pleasure for me to walk into the gym and see the guy who is doing the bench press and his back is arched and he’s struggling, he’s sweating, he’s not breathing properly… he’s got so much weight on there and he does like 2 reps. There’s nothing that gives me more pleasure than going to the bench next to him and lifting half the weight and doing it correctly. The correct breathing… the right technique. So if you can perfect technique, that is the biggest confidence boost, because the people around you will be looking at you, “Wow, look at how he does that! He only does like two or three but how perfect was that.” One kid might do 20, but he might do 20 terrible ones, but you do 10 perfect ones. It builds a lot of confidence learning things correctly. If you do the exercise right, you always gain from it.